Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Guns 'N' Anti Gravity Stuff

Angel of the North West - a bit rusty

I think it was my mate Copey who knew someone with a leather jacket that had 'Guns and Roses' lovingly hand painted on. In case you don't know, there is a mega high risk that they may release a new album this year which according to Andy means we are all going to drown in free Dr Pepper. He mentioned this whilst walking and as is usual with anything odd my pals say, I had my doubts...however odd people always know best

Dr Pepper 

Guns N Roses when we liked them

Yeah yeah Andy, I'm sorry, but not as sorry as you were feeling for yourself last Sunday morning.

The bright and breezy up at 7am and off to Snowdonia had been canned at about 10pm the previous evening exactly 5 hours into a pub session, TBF Andy was already 4 up at this stage due to afternoon drinks. Plan B was quickly abandoned by drinking more back at ours and getting to bed at about 1am, well you can't risk drinking and driving. Having got the perfect excuse for a lie in, that’s exactly what we did and it then took an hour to pull round. 

 Plan C was a quick 4 hour jaunt around Kinder Scout near Glossop, appropriately starting and finishing at The Grouse Inn.  So at the crack of 11am we pulled up ready to run up a mountain, well Andy looked like he was seasick and jetlagged but hell he's an athlete. 

Quick Andy intro...edited highlights only. He has a severe case of Blogitus i.e. don't say anything anywhere near me just in case it ends up on the blog, well he did before he got smashed and then this came out. ‘Right, Man City, three predictions'

There will be no more superstars

Mark Hughes will have the final say and

It'll be about the long term.

Mind you it was better than the 'all women should aspire to larger breasts' pronouncement made approximately 3 seconds before Judith slugged him. Well she would have done had he not been 5th dan black belt yoshimoto or something, with a reputation for punching innocent people in the kidneys at festivals!

Top mate though.

Getting out of the car it was a Batman moment 'Blam Blam' 'Kerpow' 'Blast' as gunshots were blasting off everywhere. It’s a bit disconcerting to see a couple of blokes approaching you on an A Road brandishing guns....even if they did have tweed jackets on. Not a worrying as David Batty being part of the crew(read the truck)...maybe the ex Leeds thugs were planning another Big Mac Attack but tooled up this time. I'm guessing it was clay pigeons as far too much blamming for any birds to be around these parts.

Satmap on and off across and up the moors we go, thankfully Satmap now fully understood there is no chance of getting lost...until it went off. Unbelievable a great bit of kit, promoted on this very website and it had the temerity to crash not once but 3 times in 5 minutes...bloody useless. Well it would have been bloody useless, if I hadn't discovered on returning home that I'd actually left it on all night and flattened the battery.....tosser.

 Satmap 2 vs Real Maps 2

 Big playoff game at Tryfan in 2 weeks.

Fortunately we were mapped to the teeth and Andy didn’t seem to care much which direction we walked in as long as nothing that happened could be Blog worthy or his fault. As you do when walking we returned to one of our favourite topics what’s good and bad in music, films, books and other stuff. The conclusion of all this is that we trust our mates call on this stuff more than we trust the various magazine lists at the end of the year. (Craig’s impaired hearing excepted).

So the proposal is we have our own year end lists and then I'll post them on here so we can all see what good stuff we may have missed out on. Oh Yeah and rather than it being all new this year stuff I thought it would be a reasonable call to include things you came across this year for the first time. Kind of all inclusive for old people names no pack drill.

We'll finalise categories over the next few weeks and then we'll go for a pre Christmas posting i.e. at the end of the year.

Over the top of the hills via streams and bogs and then onto a perfect yellow brick road patio affair, this one was definitely a good plan. Now Kinder Scout and the moorland around it are the bit of hills you go over on the approach to landing at Manchester Airport (yes I know ..if the prevailing wind is from the West...). Anyone not overly happy about flying and specifically over jutty up hills like these may want to look away NOW. Too late


Rest of these pics are good too! 

Blinkin aeroplane wreckage, bloody brilliant. Well not for the people in it at the time, but for us looking for skeletons of captains in uniforms (or Andy looking for breast implants in the cabin crew), bloody brilliant. Having had our fill of death and eating stories from the sky, we actually started a real hill climb and thoughts turned to Kilimanjaro and how it might turn out. Possibly inspired by the guns earlier and the plane crash it was concluded...

'Craig will never get fit enough to get up the hill but he is daft enough to try'. 'You'd better take a rifle for the good of the group'. Suffice to say mate any lagging behind and you are going to be toast and it’s going to be Pizza flavoured rump all round that evening.

Kinder Scout was voted one of the favourite walks in the UK and at this point I was struggling to understand this, too many bogs and too much gorse really. Until we got to the top of the first hill and the landscape changed, rocks all over the place a cracking ridge walk and views right across the North West of England oh and a reservoir to look down at. Then it came into view, 'The Waterfall' more specifically The *******g UPHILL waterfall, well neither of us had ever seen anything like this before. 

Excuse for Billy Bragg Tune**

Local newspaper? - a classic of its genre

Virtually all the water going over the edge was getting blown back to the top by the strong winds up the ridge, astonishing. We took  some pictures from the side and then from the edge at the top. At this juncture I pointed out to Andy that if the wind changed direction we were going to get utterly soaked through.

 Not 3 seconds later this happened


Oh how we laughed!! Well Andy did as he was in full waterproofs. The walk back was a bit moist, around the ridge, following the Pennine Way and then down by the side of Red Beck. Well it should have been, due to an incy wincey misjudgement (and no batteries) we ended up slightly higher on the hill than expected. Excellent! 'off map' its always the best bit, although a bit steep and a bit slidy to try this one too often, still no harm and a few extra training yards done.

At this point Andy enquired as to how much further of this 4 hour walk we had to go, it turned out that it was quite a bit further as I'd misread 360 minutes as 4 hours, I think I'd divided by football matches maybe oh and it was 10.5 miles not km...woops. Yup that would get us back to the pub in darkness. Except me and my ultra fit pal had marched round the whole thing and despite there being two more hills to climb 800m up in total, we made it through to the end of the walk in a smidge over 4 hours. 

Still time to get our dinner and a well earned cider in the pub.

Happily take suggestions for categories at this stage, we can also add to them whilst walking to the pizza shop.

** Billy Bragg discovery.. , we discovered in the car that Andy and I have very differing views on Billy Bragg and more specifically on the Mermaid Avenue albums made by him and Wilco. I only like the Billy Bragg tracks as the Wilco ones are a bit Americana boring. Andy has actually made a single album by cutting out all the BB tracks to have a Wilco only version. Strange behavior yes, but oddly quaint.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

A Millennium of Torrs

The hill where I caught up with the fell runner.

I've been doing some background reading on The Mountain ' Kili for Idiots' just about sums it up, the trick is to practice by doing two hill walks in a weekend,(I think you may have to do this more than once) it improves recovery time and builds stamina. The other alternative is to go and party at high altitude for two weeks before hand, perhaps Mexico City or on that mountain near Rio would do.

Even though Pam is usually pretty forgiving of my jaunts and time away, I suspect a couple of weeks in Rio 'acclimatisation' prior to an 18 day trek in Africa may be viewed a tad excessive. So I'm afraid it's the other option for us - unlucky mate.

I decided to tackle Mam Torr on the Friday, on the basis that Andy R had recommended it, what he failed to point out is that its actually 4 hills in one....cheers Andy. The start of the walk is from Castleton in the middle of the Peak District and the approach road that cuts right through a natural gap in The Pennines is mega. I'd been here a couple of times before over the years, the first time to try my hand at hangliding, I wish it had only been my hand. That sport is just for mad people and I think I'll save the rest of that week for a pub story sometime. Suffice to say being flown from a kite was a once in a lifetime experience thanks.

The other time, I was living in Sheffield and brought Jess over here to see the caves...aged 2.5 ish. The Speedwell Cavern has an underground boat that takes you to a cave in the middle of the mountain with lots up and down stick things and a lake. It's really pretty, if a bit dark; oh yes, unless you are just over two year old and traumatised by being in the semi light in the middle of a mountain. Fortunately she wasn't one for screaming and despite the 'I don't like it here daddy' conversation, we managed to get out without too much permanent damage to my hearing or here psyche. 

I've told her mum that the sleeping under the bed thing is quite normal.

I parked up, off road and set the navigation system off, all working well and I slipped and slided my way up the hills via various tracks with a deliberate off track longcut to keep off the roads. GPS worked perfectly at both dodgy intersection choices. GPS 2 vs Maps 1. 

Nice Patio

Then I got the bottom of the main hill and true to form, a lovely terrace path all the way to the top. This one was 'built' to celebrate the Millennium in a 'woohoo a new terrace' fashion I guess. I can't decide whether I like this idea or not as it does seem a bit like cheating, everyone walks on pavements. On the other hand it also allows slightly less able bodied (Read this bit Shad) people to make it to the top of the hills. Talking of old people, back in the olden days when I was at college I used to pass three post offices on the way to school (Newcastle); every Monday morning there were huge queues of old folk outside whatever the weather, all waiting for their government pension. It's the one thing that actually got me off my arse and working for my degree. 

I'm glad to say that this doesn't happen anymore, (Queuing! I still do work) now that the labour government (Its still secret old labour Tim) has stealth taxed us and introduced direct debits, old people can actually enjoy their retirement. And this morning half of Sheffield's old people were up the hills and having a splendid time in the autumn sunshine, well done Tony and pals. 

It's a gorgeous walk along the ridge of the four hills, with Castleton on one side and The Edale Valley on the other. Once at the top of Mam Torr the other hills are not too taxing and for a short 3 hour walk it's a belter. I nearly overtook a fell runner on one uphill climb, on reflection he was old enough to have been outside that Newcastle Post Office in 1986 collecting a pension...still he had running shoes on.

A quiet evening with pals on Saturday and me and Andy will be right up for 3000ft of Cnicht in Snowdonia on Sunday morning and the clocks going back will give us an extra hour kip.

Music free blog....sort of. There is a whole Fall Out Boy section slipped in further down if you need a fix. I'm trying to keep stuff in date order or I might end up climbing up the concert speakers U2 Bono style.

And a dirty great something they decided to build in the valley......

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Vampires and a bit of an Issue

Haircut 100 without the tunes!!?

I had the pleasure of bumping into Vampire Weekend on stage at Leeds Festival back in the summer, ok I was in the tent when they came on stage. I'd heard a couple of tracks on Myspace and thro a couple of blog sites so knew they were a bit jingly jangly which IMO is never a bad thing.  The Leeds festival gig was all happy and jolly, the sun shone, we drank beers and danced to embarrass the kids...perfect festival afternoon stuff really. Although I think this lead to lots more drinks a whole bunch of headstands stuff and Richard if you've got some pics I'll happily publish to embarrass

I've given up on popular radio in the main, ever since that Sarah Cox hideous thug marched all over my breakfast for about 4 weeks. That was that for me and with no Peel to save the day all I'm left with are the two Marks and one ex boy lard...hardly popular.

So new stuff tends to come from my pals, reading of blogs, seeing stuff live, Myspace or very oddly via the music press, Well that’s until now.......and thus time for a rant.

 I reckon compared to most people (obviously horizontal Craig excepted) I'm pretty laid back towards most things. Despite having a hideously consequence free lifestyle (but not for my body) over the last 10 years, my blood pressure has always stayed ok, I didn’t have much choice mind.! If you stress when you have psoriasis your head turns cherry red and explodes puss onto passing children’s heads. The conclusion of this is that for me to think stuff is bad enough to rant about then it’s gonna not be good. I had a tag letters match with my local MP last year where I candidly expressed my views on the governments support on Guantanamo bay and she sent me a platitude letter, and another and another and another and then she got evasive and in the end she pretty much said it was a bad thing but she couldn’t publicly oppose it. Hope she can live with herself.

Now I have a new rant, DMCA and Google are wiping out blogs on the basis of copy write. They give no notice and not only wipe out the 'perhaps' offending files but also wipe out the entire original 'bloggers words'. It scared the heck out of me so I've copied and saved everything. Matthew from SongbyToad blog explains it better than I can here. Its maybe best to clickon the podcast and just listen while doing other stuff on the computer. It a good podcast anyway.

Matthew explains the issue with some ranting

Have a’s a great rant but with a really good point. Make your own mind up but whatever you think about the particular point there has to be space for people’s opinions in blog and podcast land

On top of that, Myspace have now taken away the ability for bands like 'The Young Republic' to give away free downloads, which is just bloody stupid as its the main reason I joined in the first place and a fantastic means for getting publicity.....even if you don't like the Dylan covers!

Oh yeah back to Vampire Weekend, my pal Sue had a couple of spare tickets, actually her mate Avril did and I wasn’t doing anything on a wet Tuesday so it seemed like a good plan. Avril really does refer to Ian Brown as Ian and John McClure as either John or 'the rev' but then again she does hang out with them at the bottom of the garden. Really.

I met up early with a different Richard pal ,we had a really top night out, but honestly don't waste your cash going to see VW they are substandard Haircut 100, only wimpier with less songs and a huge gratitude of debt to the African Paul Simon bit. Even the scensters were looking bored and heading for the bar well before the end. If you really want to here some good African music then I'd suggest trying 

The Four Brothers - I have a best of CD which I'm happy to send a copy of to anyone who wants one, just let me know.

or the magnificent

I suspect this link wont get taken down as no one makes cash out of old Bhundu Boys records. I saw both the above bands in Newcastle back in the mid 80's and to this day I don't think I've ever danced so much and I also don't think I've ever impressed Mrs P with a new band as much since.

Craig you could use this whole censorship thing to your advantage......if you fancy a cheap holiday on an island which is defo NOT in the USA and don't mind orange clothing then you should publish all 57 versions of Strawberry Fields that you have, on your Blogsite. Better still start copying the whole Beatles collection CD you 'aquired'and posting it to randoms. 

(if any copywrite lawyer reads this he doesnt have one, but he does have a load of rock hard pals in Kazakhstan; so but out) And you promised me a copy of the non existent disc 3 months ago!

Normal Blog service to resume later...if the gits allow it

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Fall Out But Don't Fall Over Boy

Thats  a Mosh Pit

I'd had a pretty laid back day tbh hanging about in car parks! But by the time I got home Rosie was bouncing off the walls, and I can still kind of get this, remembering my initial excitement at seeing SLF. But not age 12. The question is how old is she going to be before she gets cynical and tired of the split the crowd in two and lets have the third encore stuff. I'd barely finished my tea and Rosie and her pal were in the back of the car earphones on doing the whole sing a long song stuff.

Oh the joys of the road to Damascus on a Sunday (its so should have been the road to Domestos...wasted gag).  Nightmare slow but we got to take photos and talk about guitar bands, Fall Out Boy, Arctic Monkey s and Cobra Starship are mint, the rest are rubbish..At least that’s what I heard from the back seat. I may have heard a comment of 'they sound just like busted' but I'm sure that was Rosie stirring it. Future tips for parents...if you want to keep two almost teenage girls entertained for an entire journey pass them the digital camera and challenge them to take a picture of the ugliest person they see in another car.....genius even if I say so myself.

Which reminds me of more not so genius stuff, I'm not the best at looking after important stuff and really never pass me your keys to look after, 2 passports, bunches of tickets and credit cards all in the last few years. Although I did get back into the UK on a library ticket once, actually I also had to answer the tricky 'where do you live' question. Still Butch and Sundance would have been proud. And so back in time to Saturday morning.

'have you got the tickets for tomorrow dad?'

'no don't worry I'll find them when I get back from the walk'


'have you got the tickets for tomorrow dad?'

me having looked for them already

'no I think you had them' always good to blame a 12 year old...they just can't be trusted and also it’s never good to blame your wife at this point. We all went into the 'deny everything Baldric' mode and having ripped the house apart we were ticketless. SO I phoned Seetickets ready to give them a great sob story about how little broken hearted Rosie would cry for months having saved for years to see the band'

'Yeah no worries mate pick em up at Box Office'. Either it was brilliant marketing and they do this every once in a while to impress, or they really have got a last minute ' for the numpties' process sorted. I was bloody impressed and saved to boot.

Back to the car, more technical shenanigans as Rosie discovers you can put the headphone in your mouth and still hear the music. They were both doing this, when I pointed out that the headphones had been in my ears not an hour before.........euuuuuaaaghhh and screaming noises from the back seat.

The NEC Arena is much smaller than the MEN and we had ideal seats and no queues for the bar so happiness was setting in. And then I heard the third very similar sounding grunting noise NO bloody Ramstein (apologise to both anon Germans) but how many times do you need to scream Du Hast Nicht. I also managed to persuade the kids that the bloke with the big backpack on was smuggling in small people....or maybe selling beer.

And so on to the Fall Out Boy fan base, if the word eclectic were ever to be used correctly it would be here. Now I don’t have an ist in me (ok maybe Welshist for a laugh) and I really like the lets go family thing to gigs but really there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed. I think that the 38 ish year old bloke in front of us probably didn’t need his 59 year old mum to look after him. Although she did protect him by shushing Rosie’s pal for singing along to loudly later during a famous chorus. And then she handed him a pair of binoculars and before I get accused of having a go at impaired people of any sort...he seemed as not impaired as most people do. Jesus its tough being PC.

Part of the reason for the diversity of audience is marketing. Now I like a bit of marketing and the people behind Fall Out Boy are awesome at it. They have an under 11's exclusive club called 'Overcast kids' its like an EMO recruitment drive. Once joined they send you stuff on every birthday so that by the age of 9 you are completely hooked. Oh and the new album can be bought on CD in 5 different formats ranging from your standard CD at £8.99 through to £110 which includes signed T Shirts, photo's, and loads of kit. And count the different T Shirts for sale at the tour stand  ....11 designs...just brilliant. Mind you it still doesn’t excuse the middle aged bloke wearing a Fall Out Boy beanie hat. So I settled down next to the bloke from The Exploited and his 6 year old Overcast thing, (Dead Cities indeed) listening to the unerring sound of German Thrash Metal, could life get any better?

The warm up turn came on, they were rubbish only one person clapped afterwards and as Harry Hill once said, 'it’s a bit embarrassing when you are the only person that claps. Particularly after sex'.

The second turn came on and were singularly forgetful but for the brilliant song intro

'This ones about making your bed and lying in it, its called 'make your bed and lie in it' maybe being the only one to laugh isn’t good either. I got a stern look from laughing boys mum for that one. 

Oh and slight confession here about shushing, mainly cos Andy will be sure to tell the world anyway. I was caught sushing at V Festival this year but he was in row 3 and going on a bit. I nearly outdid myself at the NEC though by very very almost asking the girls behind us to take their feet off the chairs in a 'would you do that at home voice'. Fortunately I remembered I was rock n roll just in time.

And finally to the band, they are really really good, top tunes, pretty boy bassist for the girls who does splendid twisty jumps. Almost in the Nani Man Utd standards. They have good chorus's, great guitar bits and they organise mosh pit circles and fights which are great to watch from the safety of the seats. They set off the best bottle fight I've seen in my life at Leeds Festival a few years ago, me and Rosie were fortunately just on the egde of the main event but it was bloody hilarious. More good bottle clips from Youtube

Whats fantastic  about the Biz clip is he wins the audience over

Craig go back and click on the link just above you'll like it

A show of hands?

A Best of Fall Out Boy CD would be an excellent addition to any record collection and that's pretty much what they played tonight. 1 hour 15 minutes later all the good songs played we went home happy oh except for the woman in front, who turned out to be the girlfriend not the mother...heck the moustache would have fooled anyone.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Sheriff Fatmans Fall Out

Ladies and Gentlemen I give you ' Satmap 10 / Sheriff Fatman' delete as appropriate, but more of that later

A free Saturday morning and the weathers good, so a quick jaunt up the Cheshire Ridge 30 minutes away from home was too good an option to miss. Tegg's nose is just outside Macclesfield and even has those brown country park signs to get you there... thankfully, I ignored my SatNav again! and had to take a detour. I really need to find a voice I trust on the satnav, I just believe the Irish bloke says stuff for a laugh sometimes, maybe I shouldn't laugh at a Satnav anyway?

Favourite joke of this week, well some week 20 years ago but never the less

This cowboy walks in to a German car showroom and he says "Audi!

As a start point for a walk, the kids would love this, you start almost at the top of the hill and within seconds you are on the edge of the Cheshire Ridge and all for only £1.50 a ticket.(Car Parking). You can watch planes doing their up and down stuff at Manchester airport, see across the Mersey, look at the huge satellite / telescope wotsit at Jodrill Bank. (I love the thought that this powerful telescope looking back up at the Cheshire Ridge and a couple of techies are watching people walk past going '6 out of 10, 8 out of 10, oh minger'. etc) and you can pick out all the other places you know across Cheshire. 

It may freak the kids a bit when you point out that the rides not finished and its 3 hours back to the car (I'm going to try this soon), but as a start point its instant gratification for the 30 seconds concentration generation. It also isn't the most strenuous climb to the top but it does actually have a top. 

This may also be genetic, but Craig and I have very differing views on hilltops. (along with other stuff including 'Busted' it turns out--- later) 

I've always felt that if you are going to be bothered walking up a hill why wouldn't you want to reach the top, in fact (see previous blogs) why wouldn't you want to reach the top first? But without question if it has a top--- visit it, not Craig, (feel free to correct this mate), he reckons he'd be happy to have a cup of tea 10 yards from the top of Everest whilst watching his mates take photo's and plant flags at the top, before heading back down. Its got to be either the 'aye go one' gene or the 'can't be arsed gene', I'm pretty sure that Glaxo are harvesting this from teenagers everywhere to be used as a world war 3 prevention pill.

Tegg's nose is an ex quarry, quite why you would choose to build a quarry up here in 15th century when there is loads a good stuff left at the bottom of the hills at this point in time is beyond me. Although they did just chuck all the junk over the back of the hill out of site of the townsfolk, so maybe they were just lazy. Bit like kids being able to get the full contents of the floor under their bed in the 5 seconds before their mum opens the door to complain about the mess. Its a bit of a bloomin mess out back though- the grey bit is junk

I didn't see the nose shaped reference either, hardly a Roman masterpiece, more a Michael Jackson 5th attempt at reconstruction ie hacked to bits and unrecognisable. I did like the round shelter the council have built at the top though, they've labelled circular holes so you can look right at stuff and know what it is. My particular favourites were 'the pyramids and tower of Babel' really cool.

Back to Satmap 10, ater the less than perfect initial run out on the moors, it was maybe foolhardy or overconfidence or just using the 'what the heck'  gene, I'd decided to give the new  toy a full roadtest on my own. Just in case anyone from Satmap stumbles on this and thinks ' mmmhh lawsuit' for clarification the initial failure to walk directly East across open moorland was entirely down to my ineptitude and lack of effort ie 'open the manual would have helped'. Having nearly 'done for' my pal I engaged in a lengthy full study course, I downloaded and read the full extended manual. I did all the how to guides and I even downloaded all the software upgrades and 'how to' walk throughs, I even found and read some web forums.

Slight Aside - Craig holds the world record on The Middlesbrough FC website for replies to a single webpost. How he did it by talking about the merits of a slow cooker and then asking for recipes I'll never know. (I have a German friend that reads this sometimes and if you could explain the plural of recipe to us all that would be good) (My daughter Jess says its just one of those words you can spell how you feel like- brilliant).Please also feel free to add any slow cooker tips to the comments.

Satmap 10- I'd plotted my own route on screen the day before whilst watching TV and then set off into the unknown with fingers crossed.................The Result??

Ladies and Gentlemen for the second time I give you Satmap 10 its a great toy and a GPS revolution. If it hadn't been invented by a small but brilliant self funded British start up company it would have been all over footy shirts advertising by now. Maybe the Boro should switch from Garmin so they can find the opponents half next week. They would also have had a huge 80's style product launch with 1000 of sales people and music and dry ice, with whooping and hollaring. As it is; a web board with 6 members and word of mouth is probably going to have to do the trick. 

I attended one of these whoopy conferences at the end of the 80's whilst working for Unilever, music, screens, dry ice, TV's everywhere and naked women in wheelbarrows in front of 800 mixed staff ...what were they thinking? The whole event was strange; it was at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool which turned out to be particularly conducive to interdepartmental fisticuffs...which did indeed ensue. A peaceful conference outcome wasn't particularly helped by my pal Alistair Rees declaring to the whole non techie Retail Division that and I quote ' A Pig could sell Persil', nice speech and awesome alliteration mate, but I think the subtleties were lost in translation.

Sherrif Fatman

Fatman's got something to sell
to the capital's homeless
At The Crossroads Motel
for the no-fixed-abodeless
Where you can live life in style
you can sleep in a closet
And if you flash him a smile
he'll take your teeth as deposit

It reminds me of my Unilever 'career' and experience and if Tim is reading this I'd be grateful if you didn't point out that I was often so up my own backside at the time that I even wore braces, just thank god camera phones didn't exist. Thanks for sticking with me through it. Anyway Sherrif Fatman ended any chance I had of climbing the arse licked ladder to the top of Unilever. I was travelling up the M6 with Mr Vice President European Bog Cleaner in his Black Free Ranger BMW Leer RX Bloody Huge F2 or whatever car (I'm not good at cars) it was black though. Mr Self righteous, bigoted racist prick had been espousing his flea ridden lifestyle agenda for about an hour when I had an epiphany. I realise the M6 at Birmingham is hardly the Road to Damascus but it does have Hilton Services (too many jokes to fit in already).

Suddenly, I realised I didn't believe in any of it and so (Che Guevara style I like to imagine) I searched for radio 1 (under the auspices of hearing how good the stereo was) and brilliantly this happened.

'Carter Unstoppable Sex Machine next with Sherrif Fatman'

I played it loud and declared how much I loved the lyrics, Mr Portly sitting next to me was less than impressed with Jim Bob and Co and as far as Unilever was going for me two words  'End Of'. or maybe I was a bit Rubbish!

So route plotted, I set off mapless and I managed a 6 mile walk which had some tricky twists and turns without once resorting to 'Cross country off map' Result.

One final thought onTegg's Nose I thought the dog owners were having there very own laugh at the name by letting their dogs crap on it, a few too many dogs for my liking although 'dozy, dinky  here boys' was funny. 

The walked I'd plotted was very close to mainland Britain in shape (although a lot smaller in perimeter obviously). As I was walking back towards the car down the Northwest coast towards Stockton Heath, I was at Carlisle ish  when I bumped into some people I had seen walking in the opposite direction near Poole. Just for clarification and incase people from Yorkshire are reading this (Doc, Beechy) its an imaginary map of Britain in my head at this point, a mini mini me map, I haven't taken up long distance sprinting. Either way they looked very shocked to see me marching in the opposite direction on The Gritstone Trail for the second time. And so back to the car with no problems at all. 

As the big mountain walk is only a few months off now, I thought I'd give the chaps some extra encouragement Craig and Shad link only, and Gaslight Anthem DO NOT sound liked Busted.

Part 2 of this weekend involves a trip to EMO City to see Fall Out Boy and I'm going to give Rosie the right of reply so this one to follow

Monday, 6 October 2008

Extremes and Ex-Streams

Ribblehead Viaduct

Even when we started out the sky was pretty low...

A year or so ago I was taken to a Mogwai gig by a good friend of mine. Not being completely naive about the indie music scene I had a fair idea that this was going to be a bit of a racket as my nan would say. (Just for clarity, she hasn't been to a Mogwai gig to my knowledge). However, my first gig ever was The Who and I've been to a Dizzee Rascal gig where my trousers were moving (no smutty comments please) due to the bass being so loud, so what further damage could an Indie band do to my hearing?

It was a fantastic nightmare and an experience not to be missed, I wouldn't go as far as to recommend it but when your ears are close to bleeding, your body is getting hit by soundwaves you can feel and then they hit you with ultra strobe hardcore lights its not something you'll forget easily. I'm never going again but I'm glad I experienced it. Just in case you wish to approximate this in your home try this

I've attached the best song of their new album below (great tune), so hit shift and click on the link to play in the background.

Turn all speakers and computer sound up to full blast, then put you head 6" away from the computer screen and blink your eyes every 0.223 seconds.  You really need to have a surround sound system to do this, but if you put the two rear speaker near your ankles you can even get the base on the trousers effect...........or maybe I'm losing the plot. Hell buy a ticket for the tour and take earplugs like most of the audience do......thanks for not telling me Rich.

Oh there was a reason for the whole Mogwai thing, as well as the song and album being rather good, it seemed a good analogy for this weeks walk. It turned out to be Extreme but fun.

The whole walk up Kilimanjaro thing seems to have moved up a notch this week, someone who has recently walked The Great Wall of China has offered to sort it, for NEXT September. That's only a year earlier than expected but it was enough of a shock to Craig to actually get him out on a walk for the first time since he got us lost on Roseberry Topping.

And while I remember, I've been having a few complaints (one in writing, see the comments) about me misquoting and misrepresenting the truth on here. Well I find a good mixture of fact and fiction in all aspects of life is a great way to ensure maximum fun and enjoyment so get over it. 

Well that would have been my opinion until last week when I was outrageously misquoted and badly paraphrased in the press. Not only that, but I have a no publicity policy and always have had, who the heck wants to be famous even in toilet rolls.

At the point I was explaining this to Craig we were mid mountain in a bit of a storm and he slightly misheard me...(remember I didnt say this)

Well that's what Craig heard anyway and for about half a mile I'm sure he was quite impressed and a bit surprised, it wasn't intuition that lead me to this conclusion but the fact that when he caught up with me he said 'how the F**k did you get into Heat Magazine?'

Now we're all back in training (Shad that's you too), we decided to climb up Whernside which is just outside of Ingleton near the Ribblehead viaduct. Having already walked up Pen Y Ghent and Ingleborough this summer it was the last leg of The Yorkshire Three Peaks walk. Ok 3 and a half months probably isn't the quickest it's ever been done but at least I'll know the route when we go for the 12 hour run around in April.

We'd opted for walking on the Saturday even though the forecast for the afternoon was looking a bit iffy late on; it was Glastonbury ticket Sunday so I had no option. We met a Ribblehead and after a bit of a parking issue, it was a bit full in the middle of nowhere, we set off on a 10 mile slow walk around. The weather at this point was dry-ish and a bit boisterous, however with the wind at our backs and loads of stuff to catch up on we plodded up the gentle slopes next to the railway line for a couple of miles crossing a few minor streams. Chatting, we passed few small waterfalls and one pretty high fall with a smidgeon of water flowing over it. But defo no stream on the left!

As we reached the climbing point and changed direction slightly the weather started to close in, after another 20 minutes or so we were climbing in a gale with seriously heavy rain blasting our faces. Free facial scrubs in the Yorkshire Dales. Even though the clouds were pretty low I was confident that we wouldn't end up completely lost this time, well I have bought the latest GPS system and its brilliant. We made it to the top and the GPS tracked us perfectly. Even though it was a bit chilly and wet, we were saved from the cold as Craig had brought spicy parsnip soup FOR TWO (Shad), with TWO cups. He had a third spare one incase anyone else turned up. Time to head back and even though the weather was by now really stupid, I was pretty keen to go off track and test out my toy.

I've always loved toys and if 'the one who dies with the most toys wins' were true; I'd have a fair chance of getting through the pearlies. As it stands, I'd need to be a Godfather on the day of my death to sneak in, you get to renounce all your sins in the christening ceremony, its great.

'Godparents do you renounce all your sins?'  '''Hell Yeah''' or something not quite so offensive was said with great enthusiasm. I think I did the Churchill dog impression.

Off track we went and headed for the tarns in the middle of the moors, we found them by following a small track and GPS, (mainly the track though). Now the next bit was trickier as we had to go across a non tracked moorland for about half a mile, in a cloud. As usual I was overconfident and having Craig about just adds to overconfidence 'it'll be fine' was originally one of his. We marched into the unknown and it was then that I really wished that I'd maybe even once read some of the instruction manual. It's got 7 buttons on it, surely if you hit enough of them it'll point you in the right direction, well the good news is that the GPS bit does alert you to the fact that you are going the wrong way, but you need a different function to point you in the right direction oh bugger!!

We yomped around the moor in deteriorating weather for about another hour and somehow managed to get back to the tiny track we had followed down. It's a good job we found it as I think Craig was flagging and I had disappeared up to my knees at least 3 times in bogs, the top of the moor was rapidly turning into a big swamp with crocodiles (See fact and fiction works a treat). As we started to head down, streams were forming all around us and the path pretty much turned into a stream, the hillside was just full of them and it looked extraordinary. 

The waterfall we passed on the way up had turned into a torrent that would put High Force to shame and as the wind and rain had eased somewhat, all was well with the world.

Except we hadn't considered the effect that incessant heavy rain could have on the small streams we'd crossed. Its no bloody wonder potholers get into bother, I'd send them all to chokey for being so stupid.

The last time I was near here I said 'there would be more chance of us being cut off by the tide' while skitting Andy. Little did I know....

The streams were now rivers and we were in a billy goats gruff scenario, the first stream had a bridge to the side so with a bit of a leap we made it to the green fields, the second stream only had a railway sleeper style improvised crossing, but with a bit of leaping we made it to the green fields. The third and final river as they say down the Boro had nowt, we chose not break stride and just ploughed through it. I'm sure the other bloke who was marching uphill looking for a crossing point thought we were mad.

Craig doing his local newspaper when things go wrong face

Its great when you're that wet though,  you can jump in puddles like a 6 year old without being worried that your dad might clip you round the ear for it. I did consider starting a water kicking fight with Craig to complete this childish relapse, but he looked a bit worse for wear at this stage. Probably due to my lack of GPS reading skills.

Still I had a great day out, I just hope it hasn't put Craig off for another 3 months.